Bush and bin Laden, Inc.?

Oil and power make for strange bedfellows. In June 1977, George W. Bush started his first drilling company Arbusto Energy with a $50,000 investment from Houston businessman James R. Bath. Bath, along with Bush, had been suspended from the Texas Air National Guard for "failure to accomplish [the] annual medical examination" (in Bush's case he refused to be tested for illegal drug use). In their award-winning 1991 expose The Outlaw Bank, Time magazine writers Jonathan Beaty and S.C. Gwynne reported that Bath "made his fortune by investing money for [Sheikh Kalid bin] Mahfouz and... Sheikh bin Laden." Since Bath had "no substantial money of his own at the time," Beaty and Gwynne suggest that Arbusto Energy was financed by Bath's Saudi Arabian clients. And who was bin Laden? The billionaire father of ex-CIA "freedom fighter" Osama bin Laden. Thus, observes Online Journal, the money for GWB`s first oil company "may have been derived at least in part from the family fortune of Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden." Meanwhile, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has revealed that Bush's father, former President George Bush, now serves as a paid consultant for The Carlyle Group, which handles investments for the bin Laden family.

© Earth Island Journal, Spring 2002

 

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